Just like every individual, every fingerprint is unique. Whether it is between two friends or two people from the opposite ends of the Earth, the fingerprints that they contain will not be identical. Fingerprints are very fascinating because of this fact. Fingerprints are unique to the person, and therefore, fingerprints have a great use to law enforcement agencies throughout the world. This use of fingerprints in forensic science has caught my interest because the overall concept is very interesting. DNA evidence and fingerprints are a large part of a criminal investigation today. Due to the various use of fingerprints, I contemplated about what would be the ideal time for a solution that helps lift fingerprints to dry. Hence my research question: Does the amount of time the silver nitrate solution is left to air dry affect the quality of the fingerprint left behind? This relates to science now because it can help prefect one of the techniques used to fight crime. Another benefit in performing this experiment will be that it can make forensic science more efficient. However, before beginning the experiment, there must be some research into fingerprints and the history of fingerprints. By doing this, we will be able to accurately design a procedure and conduct the experiment.
A nineteenth century scientist, by the name of Francis Galton, has been accredited the discovery of fingerprints. Galton was the first to propose that fingerprints are not inherited from the parents but are rather unique regardless of genetics. A piece of evidence that supports this is when a pair of identical twins still have a set of different fingerprints. This theory that all fingerprints are inimitable was essential for the introduction of fingerprints in the fields of forensic science and law enforcement.
Fingerprints are defined by the Merriam Webster online dictionary as impressions left on any surface by fingertips, but what do these impressions consist of? Every fingerprint has focal points and these focal points are what forensic scientists look for. Some examples of focal points are the core of a fingerprint and the delta. (Gurdoglanyan, Diana) In addition, fingerprints contain three types of patterns. These patterns include the loop, arch, and the whorl, which is a pattern of spirals on the tip of your fingerprint. Because everyone has a set of unique fingerprints, everyone leaves behind an impression of their fingerprint on the surfaces that they touch. There are three different types of fingerprints that are left behind: latent, visible, and plastic. Latent fingerprints are going to be the focus of this extended essay.
Plastic fingerprints and visible fingerprints are able to be seen by the naked eye. Plastic fingerprints are prints on the side of an object that is able to reflect the print, such as wax, clay, or soap. Visible prints are made when the ridges of the fingertip have been in contact with a type of paint or ink and, therefore,...